During the run-up to the Iraq War, January to March 2003, several Tiffin Franciscan sisters organized peace vigils in front of the Seneca County Courthouse in downtown Tiffin. They drew many people who shared their convictions to stand with them. Tiffin Area Pax Christi grew out of this group.  We held our first monthly meeting in May 2003, drawing 25 people from four counties and many different religious denominations.

We chose to affiliate with Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement. However, our group is ecumenical and our members represent many denominations.

After more than six months away from public vigiling, we returned to the sidewalk in front of the courthouse on January 15, 2004 to observe Martin Luther King Day, remembering King”s courageous stand for peace. We then began organizing to host a rally on the first anniversary of the war, joining hundreds of other cities around the world for a Global Day of Action. After a series of daily vigils March 15-19, we culminated with a rally and march on March 20, drawing 175 people to listen to area speakers and process to the Veterans Memorial to remember those that had given their lives.

We resumed regular vigils in April, 2004, following a three times per week schedule until November 2004, when we began vigiling weekly on Fridays. We continued the vigils until 2013.

Other rallies and vigils:

  • March 20, 2005 Second anniversary of the war: White ribbons for peace rally
  • August 6, 2005 60th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima Commemoration
  • October 28, 2005 Observance of the 2000th US troop death in Iraq
  • Presentation of a 3000 link chain to Rep. Gillmor’s office on the occasion of the 3000th US troop death in Iraq
  • Ecumenical Prayer Vigil on 4th anniversary of the Iraq ar
  • Participation in Arlington Midwest display in Toledo on 5th Anniversary of the Iraq War

Speaking events:

  • 2004 Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, The Iraq Crisis-A Moral Perspective
  • 2005 Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking-The Journey Continues
  • 2007  Anna Brown, Walking to Guantanamo: A Witness Against Torture
  • 2009 Fr. Louis Vitale
  • 2009 Sr. Paulette Schroeder, Palestinian Festival
  • 2010 Israel/Palestine Conference: Pathways to Peace
  • 2012 Iyad Burnat. Nonviolent popular resistance in Bil’in, Palestine
  • 2013 Kathy Kelly, Reflections on Warfare in Afghanistan and Gaza
  • 2014 Skip Schiel, Eyewitness Gaza

Workshops, Retreats

  • 2006 Creating a Culture of Peace, Nonviolence Training Weekend
  • 2007 Nonviolence: Rooting Ourselves In Its Risks and Riches (Anna Brown)
  • 2008 Catholic Selective Service and Conscience (Catholic Peace Fellowship)

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